Magazine Article


Pixel Magic Imaging Lands Japanese Backers

Two Far East Firms Invest in Texas-based Imaging Company

Two major Japanese suppliers to Pixel Magic Imaging have stepped up and made a "substantial investment" in the firm, assuring that it will be able to continue operations as well as provide the means for expansion.

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd., a prime supplier of dye-sub media as part of a printing technology empire, and Altech Co., Ltd., a large player in factory automation and construction, among other fields, have agreed to invest in Pixel an undisclosed amount described as "substantial" that will give them a controlling interest. Together, the firms have a revenue base of $13 billion.

DNP has been the source for Pixel Magic's dye-sub media and ribbon for some years and Altech supplies Pixel with the MegaPixel dye-sub printers used in Pixel's line of kiosk products. These companies join a group of venture capitalists along with the Oles family, the founders, as investors in Pixel Magic.

George Briggs, CEO, said that the firm has been working on this new investment plan for 8-9 months and sees the infusion as an opportunity "for a number of things in product development" as well as expanding its market into Asia. Pixel already has a European presence.

"The trade should look at this investment with a lot of interest," Briggs said. "It's not often that companies of this size make an acquisition in digital imaging." He said the new investors would give Pixel access to financial assistance, strategic assistance and R&D.

All Pixel operations will continue to be headquartered in San Marcos, Texas, and all management and personnel will remain in place, according to Briggs.

Among the beneficiaries, according to Briggs, will be Pixel's three largest North American customers: Eckerd Drug, Meijers Stores and Japan Camera. He said that because a larger quantity of consumables would now be stocked in the U.S., they would realize more flexible ordering and delivery. As for smaller customer, Briggs said, "With our added resources, we'll be able to work more closely with these customers."

There are over 4,000 Pixel systems installed in the U.S., according to Briggs, 3,000 of which are digitally capable. At the last PMA, Pixel introduced the MegaPixel III printer which will output prints at the rate of 12 seconds for the first print and 5.5 seconds for each subsequent print.